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FLEXO Magazine : October 2012
New and innovative approach to set a new standard in ﬂexo form making nyloﬂex® NExT High Intensity UV Exposure Technology to create Flat Top Dots and for Surface Screening The innovative way of exposing flexographic printing plates with UV-A LEDs offers great possibilities to establish a new quality standard for flexo form making. The high level of UV emission leads to a significant improvement in the reproduction of finest relief elements. The ability to reproduce high resolution surface screenings provides superior print quality with much better ink laydown. The improved mechanical properties and the precisely defined surface of flat top dots ensure a consistent high print quality, also for long print runs. Step 1 – High intensity UV surface crosslinking Step 2 – Through-cure with conventional UV tubes In comparison to typical digital dots, the physical characteristics of flat top dots enable reduced dot gain tolerances, which are usually caused by varying impression settings. The nyloflex® NExT system can be used with virtually all types of digital plates; there are no limitations regarding plate types, substrates and ink systems. Typical, digitally imaged plates are exposed with UV-A tubes under ambient atmosphere. The oxygen present in the atmosphere acts as an inhibitor during the crosslinking reaction. This leads to a dot reduction during data transfer from the layout to the ﬁnished plate. However, a one-to-one reproduction of the original data would be the ideal case. The question is: How to minimise or avoid the oxygen inhibition? This is presently the most widely discussed topic in the ﬂexo industry. With nyloﬂex® NExT, the high intensity UV exposure accelerates the polymerisation propagation. Due to strong surface curing, the oxygen effect is eliminated. How does oxygen inhibition affect the print result? In the first step a UV-A exposure is performed by scanning the plate surface with a high emission UV LED line. This results in a very fast crosslinking of the surface, even faster than the oxygen diffusion occurs. Thus, the oxygen effect is suppressed. In a second step, the relief is created by exposure with standard UV-A tubes. In addition to a significantly higher level of UV intensity (up to 20 times), the emission of UV LEDs is much more consistent, and the lifetime is longer compared to conventional UV tubes. Due to the beneficial characteristics of UV LEDs, which do not reduce their UV intensity over their lifetime in the way conventional UV tubes do, nyloflex® NExT substantially enhances production consistency, especially for recurrence orders. Two step exposure – Combination of UV-A LEDs with UV-A tubes nyloflex® NExT, a high intensity UV exposure technology, introduced by Flint Group Flexographic Products, enables precise reproduction of the digital layout onto the finished printing plate. requires NO additional CONSUMABLES Flint Group Flexographic Products www.flintgrp.com